Friday, January 22, 2010

What is MCSD policy re FOID cards?

What is the policy at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department, when a deputy stops a driver who has a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) Card?

If a driver gets stopped for a traffic violation and offers his FOID card with his driver's license, what action is a deputy supposed to take?

Is he supposed to confiscate any firearm and take it to the sheriff's department, where the driver who possesses the firearm legally can retrieve it?

If you are traveling to the shooting range and get stopped, would you tell the deputy that you have a firearm in the trunk of your car, unloaded or properly cased?

Or suppose you have the handgun in the console of your vehicle (which the Illinois Supreme Court has deemed a "container" under Illinois law)? Would you tell the officer that it's there? Is a glove compartment also contained a "container"?

Read the law, and use the right words if you are suspected of a firearms violation. And use very few of those right words. Since it's a felony, you risk prison time. Remember: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." You probably know the rest.

Would you permit a search of your vehicle, if a deputy asked if s/he can search?

You might think, "Sure, why not? It's legal." Better think again. How does "Charged with a felony" sound to you? Any idea how much you'll spend to defend yourself?

This would be a good time to find a lawyer who is an expert on Illinois firearms law (and who is a right-to-carry advocate). Since you are the one who will foot the legal bill, get the answer ahead of time, preferably in writing.

Last year I talked to a lawyer who was obviously not in favor of right-to-carry. That opinion came through very clearly. So I had to ask for "professional legal advice", not personal opinion. That's what I was paying for, and that's what I wanted.

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